A prototype believed to be the Audi SQ8 has been spied on snowy European roads this week, previewing the German marque’s upcoming flagship SUV coupe.
Compared to previous prototypes, this ‘SQ8’ is wearing fancier-looking headlights – potentially the company’s flagship matrix LED units or a new laser light – with a stripe effect through the signature resembling the tail-light design we spotted on a nearly-undisguised Q8 development vehicle last August.
Like its less-focused brethren, the SQ8 features a coupe-style sloping roofline and fastback tailgate, along with chunky guards and bumpers that give it quite a muscular aesthetic.
We’d also expect the latest Audi driver-assistance technologies to feature, which should give the Q8/SQ8 some degree of semi-autonomous drive abilities, and the new dual-screen cockpit layout seen in the new A7 and A8.
At this stage, however, it’s unclear exactly what will power the SQ8. The Q8 Sport concept that previewed it at last year’s Geneva motor show teamed a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system, rated at 350kW and 700Nm.
Audi claimed that concept could hit 100km/h from a standstill in 4.7 seconds on the way to 275km/h, and travel up to 1200 kilometres with its 85L fuel tank.
However, there are several other options in the Volkswagen Group portfolio, including the new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 seen in the Bentayga V8, Cayenne Turbo and Urus – claiming outputs of 485kW and 850Nm in its most powerful form – or the 4.0-litre bi-turbo diesel V8 from the SQ7 and Bentayga Diesel with 320kW of power and 900Nm of torque.
Whichever powertrain Audi chooses, expect the SQ8 to be capable of completing the 0-100km/h sprint in under 5.0 seconds, and be electronically limited to a top speed of 250km/h – as is standard Audi fare.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates in the coming months.